Hmm, just wondering when his trial is coming up: You think he can govern from behind bars?
Ex-Guantanamo inmate to run in Australia election
By Andrew Cleary Thu Feb 1,
SYDNEY (Reuters) – An Australian once detained in Guantanamo Bay on suspicion of helping al Qaeda said on Friday he would stand for election to the New South Wales state parliament.
Mamdouh Habib, released in January 2005, was held in Guantanamo Bay without charge for almost three years after he was arrested crossing from Pakistan into Afghanistan three weeks after the September 11 attacks on the United States.
“We’re here in Australia, this has nothing to do with Afghanistan,” Habib told a news conference in Sydney called to announce he would run as an independent in the March 24 contest.
“This has nothing to do with terrorism — we have no terrorists in Australia. If you want to talk about terror then talk to the U.S.,” he said.
Sure Mamduh, sure. The Americans are the terrorists…
Habib’s candidacy comes as the gulf widens between Australia’s small, mainly Sunni, Muslim community of some 280,000 people and the rest of the country, leaving many Muslims feeling besieged and trapped between two cultures.
Anti-Muslim sentiment has been inflamed by Sheikh Taj El-Din Hilaly, the mufti of Australia’s biggest mosque, who has compared unveiled women to “uncovered meat” and said Muslim Australians had more right to the country than people descended from convicts.
Habib denied his views were extreme. He said he was standing to fight against racist attacks on minority ethnic groups including Muslim Australians, Aborigines and migrants, and to take care of the community in which he lived.
“The aim of the campaign is to reclaim our diminishing human rights, negated every day by the state and federal governments, and to organize people who are prepared to fight for them,” his campaign manager, Raul Bassi, said at the news conference.
Habib will contest the seat of Auburn in southwestern Sydney, an area with a large Muslim community, and said he was confident he would be well received by local voters.
New South Wales state Premier Morris Iemma (the dilemma) dismissed Habib’s chances in the election. “The voters of Auburn, like Australians everywhere, won’t put up with lunacy, no matter who’s putting it forward,” he said in remarks broadcast on local television.